Sunday, September 6, 2009

Step Back

"Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity."

--Tao Te Ching 9, Mitchell translation


I'm selling my house and have my heart set on another, which is in such a position as to be easily snatched out from under me. I've put my intention to attract that house out there into the universe, and now am striving to let go. I'm not fixating on it, worrying about it, or stressing about it. Before I can buy another, or even make an offer on the one I want now, I need to have an offer on my house. I've been packing and cleaning and arranging and "staging" my home to sell, and while there is always more cleaning to do, I can let everything else go. The right people for this house will come, just as the right house will wait for me. I cannot make any of it happen sooner by fretting about it, or complaining about the passing time, or worrying that the best scenario may not play out. I know all will happen just as it should, regardless of whether it's in line with my own dream. I'm just going to do my work, and step back.


"Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner."

This is pretty self-explanatory, but I just felt compelled to emphasize it. Perhaps someone out there is meant to reflect on it.

Namaste, everyone. Thanks for reading!


  1. I really enjoyed reading your post today! Sometimes people look at Taoism like it doesn't apply to everyday life. But posts like this one show the opposite to be true. It's really easy (and yet so hard) to apply it to the routine aspects of our existence.

  2. That someone is me, and I took it to heart even before I scrolled down and read you emphasizing it. That just re-affirms the fact that I should take it to heart! (I browsed over here from MDC, incidentally.)

  3. "care about people and you become their prisoner" one of the rules I live by.... Except I word it a little different.
    "They minute you start caring about what people think of you, you become their prisoner"

    Also I like the term..."it's all about energy"

    nice Blog..who are you?


  4. I've never studied Taoism, but this post really spoke to me. Particularly "caring about others' approval" and "I cannot make it happen any sooner by stressing" - how true!


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